Collaboration, 12 Intrigues (with Tashi Ko)

I’m extremely excited to be working on a collaborative piece currently with Tashi Ko called 12 Intrigues. This online dialogue between conceptual artists and writers all over the world is refreshing, in a time when the majority of poets in the US (with some very admirable exceptions) have become especially competitive, inclusive and non-communal. Poets should be working alongside visual artists, writers, musicians, and filmmakers—and often. This healthy exchange benefits the artists (the work evolves, all grow as human beings) as well as the audience (humanity evolves, all grow as human beings).

We’ve cut ourselves off so much from one another—technological devices/social media replace live, human exchanges. We all know this, yet, many of us have a difficult time breaking free of only connecting via our “e-tentacles.”

My project with Tashi Ko (Natasha Marin) involves her poetry chapbook written about Jodorowsky’s Fando y Lis (which is my favorite Jodorowsky film) and my own ekphrastic response to the chapbook’s ekphrastic response. It’s what I’m starting to call: “layered ekphrasis.” Of my recent book from Shearsman Books (which is an ekphrastic book), poet Bill Knott wrote to me to say: “You’ve discovered/invented a unique new kind of mode in the cinepoem genre — bravo…your method in writing the ‘film ekphrastics’ is unique, innovative, and I’ve never read of anyone else doing it before you…”

This is a “next step” in my method, and I’m experimenting currently to see how it will work.

Scene after scene, Fando y Lis offers fitting analogies of the phenomenon described above (disconnectedness of artistic community [the “elegant” people who have destroyed the world, so explains Jodorowsky himself in this clip], yearning for non-correlative or imbalanced recognition by “society”).

Quick plot synopsis: Fando and his paraplegic girlfriend, Lis, wander through a barren, post-apocalyptic wasteland in search of the mythical city of Tar, where legend has it all wishes come true. When the film premièred at the 1968 Acapulco film festival, a full scale riot broke out. The film was later banned in Mexico.


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